The UFC makes its first trip to Argentina this Saturday, and the country’s best native fighter is carrying the torch. Not only does Santiago Ponzinibbio get to fight on home soil, he could become a legitimate contender in the process. The Argentine just has to get past a tough gatekeeper in Neil Magny.
It’s a solid, significant matchup in a stacked division, but we’re not gonna pretend that this is a scrap that’ll get a lot of people hyped. Still, it’s an important fight at welterweight – especially for Ponzinibbio.
Magny has been lowkey a high-level gatekeeper at 170 pounds, earning wins over Carlos Condit, Johny Hendricks, Hector Lombard and Kelvin Gastelum. In his past 10 fights, his only losses have come against Demian Maia, Lorenz Larkin and Rafael Dos Anjos. There’s a definite ceiling for Magny that caps him just below the elite tier, but he’s still a guy that matters.
The potential for action is high on this card, as are the opportunities to make money with the UFC odds at BookMaker.eu, one of the premier online sportsbooks. We previewed the supporting cast yesterday, so let’s get into the headliner now.
Neil Magny +241 vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio -305
Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: +200 / -260
Significant strikes landed per minute: Magny 3.84 / Ponzinibbio 4.23
Accuracy: Magny 48.69% / Ponzinibbio 38.87%
Significant strikes absorbed per minute: Magny 2.04 / Ponzinibbio 4.01
Defense: Magny 56.95% / Ponzinibbio 62.88%
Takedown average: Magny 2.83 / Ponzinibbio 0.64
Takedown accuracy: Magny 47.67% / Ponzinibbio 44.44%
Takedowns defended: Magny 60.27% / Ponzinibbio 57.69%
Submission average: Magny 0.35 / Ponzinibbio 0
Ponzinibbio Packing Heat
Currently on a six-fight win streak, Ponzinibbio has quietly become one of the division’s better fighters. His last two wins were especially impressive, as he made quick work of Gunnar Nelson and soundly outstruck a knockout artist in Mike Perry. But Magny presents a whole new set of problems: the American is a tall, rangy fighter with endless cardio and an exceptionally well-rounded skillset.
When it comes to big game hunting, Magny’s easily the more experienced fighter with wins over some big names. So it was definitely a bit of a surprise to see him online sportsbooks list him as such a huge underdog. The 31-year old is still squarely in his prime and his takedowns are a real x-factor against a guy whose wrestling hasn’t really been tested.
If this stays standing, it’s advantage Ponzinibbio – but the gap isn’t as big as you might think. He’s the more dynamic kickboxer with a clear edge in power, but Magny’s 6’3” frame and and crisp jabs could give him some problems. The problem with Magny is that he tends to panic when he can’t establish his range and is forced to fight in a phone booth.
The wildcard here is whether Magny can land the takedowns – averaging nearly 3 takedowns per 15 minutes is an excellent number. He’s never been much of a top grinder, but forcing Ponzinibbio to get up over and over again would take a lot stamina out of the Argentinian. Magny is not a guy you want to get tired against, as cardio is one of his biggest weapons.
Our pick: Fight goes to decision at -260
We’re sorely tempted to play Magny based on his price, but this is the safer play. Magny really doesn’t respond well to pressure, and that’s something the Argentine does really well. But we do know Magny’s chin is basically a bomb shelter, as it survived a nuclear assault from Hector Lombard. This one should go to the cards.
Parlay boost: Ponzinibbio to win at -305
While he’s probably getting too much credit, Ponzinibbio seems like a safe enough pick to anchor a parlay. We never give hometown advantage too much notice, but the guy has been amped about carrying a card in Argentina. He’s a big dude that Magny won’t be able to muscle around, and look for him to bring the heat here.
Ricardo Lamas is a Good Bet at -240
No. 12 featherweight Ricardo Lamas (18-7, 5 KOs, 5 SUBs) meets No. 13 Darren Elkins (24-6, 6 KOs, 6 SUBs) at UFC Fight Night 140 on Saturday, November 17, 2018 at the Parque Roca Arena in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The main card airs live on FS1 starting 10pm ET.
Casual fans need to know just how good the matchup between Ricardo Lamas and Darren Elkins is. While neither is a real “needle-mover” in terms of viewing numbers, both men have given us plenty of memorable moments inside the octagon over their long UFC careers.
Lamas was a top-5 featherweight for a long time. Up until late 2017, his only losses in 12 UFC fights came against Jose Aldo (in a title fight), Chad Mendes and Max Holloway. This past year’s been tough for Lamas though: a flash knockout to Josh Emmett and a split-decision defeat to Mirsad Bektic sent his ranking plummeting outside of the top 10.
Elkins gave us the 2017 Comeback of the Year when he pulled out a hail mary against Bektic, getting put through the meatgrinder for two rounds before scoring a knockout win. He then did the same against Michael Johnson, getting pieced up by the boxer before bending him to his will for a thrilling second round submission.
Both men are fine examples of fighters who are better than their rankings suggest. Nobody sees them as easy outs, and they’re rarely in boring fights. This is an excellent fight that has plenty of hardcore fans pumped.
Now that we’ve given the scrap the recognition it deserves, let’s get into how you should be betting. First, check out our top-rated online sportsbooks for UFC odds and get the best price. On fight night, live UFC betting at BookMaker.eu is available to hedge your bets. Now let’s break it all down.
Darren Elkins +192 vs Ricardo Lamas -240
Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: -245 / +175
Significant strikes landed per minute: Lamas 2.73 / Elkins 3.29
Accuracy: Lamas 44.12% / Elkins 37.85%
Significant strikes absorbed per minute: Lamas 2.49 / Elkins 2.69
Defense: Lamas 58.96% / Elkins 54.05%
Takedown average: Lamas 1.55 / Elkins 2.64
Takedown accuracy: Lamas 30.43% / Elkins 2.64
Takedowns defended: Lamas 47.37% / Elkins 60%
Submission average: Lamas 1.11 / Elkins 1.42
There’s a reason Lamas was a top contender for so long: he can do it all, and he can do it well. A former collegiate wrestler and a BJJ black belt, Lamas is difficult for any grappler to corral. On the feet, the 36-year old can hold his own against high-level strikers, throwing hard punch-kick combinations with authority. Physically, he’s strong and quick – though at 36 his best days are in the rearview mirror.
Elkins was a solid grinder before he got to Team Alpha Male, and the camp has made him an even better one. His takedown accuracy won’t wow you, but his relentless pursuit of them should – he’s tricky and can chain wrestle. His striking is ugly, but it’s good enough to get him in the clinch, where he can really start draining life bars with dirty boxing.
But anyone who has seen Elkins fight recently knows that his best weapon is his toughness and heart. Basically, he’s the Derrick Lewis of featherweight – except that he’s got good cardio and much better wrestling. You just can’t teach guys to withstand beatings and somehow find ways to win.
Our Pick: Lamas to win at -240
The thing with Elkins is that he relies on guys to make mistakes or gas out. Lamas is just too polished to make those kinds of mental errors. This is a solid pick at the current price.
UFC Odds Pick: Fight goes to decision at +175
Both men have stoppage ratios of just around 50% – finishing guys consistently just isn’t their thing. Elkins is too tough to get knocked out by Lamas, and Lamas is too skilled to get stopped by Elkins. This goes to decision.
Johnny Walker is a +194 Shot You Should Take
Khalil Rountree just blew up the hype of former K-1 kickboxing champion Gokhan Saki. This Saturday, he’s hoping to spoil the party of another prospect. Brazil’s Johnny Walker, just 26-years old and fresh off of beating UFC alum Henrique da Silva on DWTNCS, will look to extend a six-fight win streak against the American in Argentina.
It’s a matchup of two heavy hitters, as Walker has 11 KOs in 14 career victories, and Rountree has knocked out five opponents in his seven pro wins. There is some question as to why Rountree is getting a complete unknown after blasting through a highly touted striker, but Walker’s tape shows that this is a high risk, low reward fight for The Ultimate Fighter veteran.
Walker’s traveled the world fighting in regional promotions, from upstarts like European Beatdown to Jungle Fights to Ultimate Challenge MMA. The jump up in competition to DWTNCS was a tough one for Walker, as he failed to stop his opponent for the first time in five consecutive fights.
To bet this main card fight, make sure to check out our top online sportsbooks for UFC odds for the most favorable prices. We’ve got the matchup breakdown below, along with our best betting picks. Live UFC betting at BookMaker.eu is also available if you want to hedge any of your picks on the night.
Khalil Rountree -250 vs Johnny Walker +194
Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: +245 / -335
Significant strikes landed per minute: Rountree 2.31 / Walker N/A
Accuracy: Rountree 34.16% / Walker N/A
Significant strikes absorbed per minute: Rountree 3.2 / Walker N/A
Defense: Rountree 40.36% / Walker N/A
Takedown average: Rountree 0 / Walker N/A
Takedown accuracy: Rountree 0% / Walker N/A
Takedowns defended: Rountree 50% / Walker N/A
Submission average: Rountree 0.36 / Walker N/A
Apologies on Walker’s unavailable stats – FightMetric only posts number from UFC bouts. We do have Walker’s physical stats though: and this is a big man for the division. Listed at 6’5” with an 82-inch reach, the Brazilian will tower over the 6’1” Rountree and have a significant 9-inch reach advantage.
From the few fight tapes of Walker available online, it’s clear that Walker’s size and range can be a problem. He’s not a lumbering type nor a beanpole, as he fills out his frame nicely and shows good athleticism. In the standup, Walker stalks his opponent and launches long-range shots, with the dexterity to throw spinning attacks and launch snapping kicks at all angles.
We’ll see how he deals with the pressure of Rountree, who makes every shot count. The American is the type of guy that throws everything at full power, making up for the fact that he eats one more strike a minute than he lands. Though Khalil’s got a potent kicking game, he relies heavily on his fists, walking guys down and planting on the beard. Walker’s habit of dropping his hands could be the fatal error against Rountree.
Our Pick: Walker to win at +194
It’s always difficult to assess newcomers who don’t have the hype of a proven training camp behind them. But Walker’s tape, youth and physical attributes suggest that it’s going to take a super technical fighter to hand him his first loss. Rountree is not that.
Cezar Ferreira vs. Ian Heinisch Betting Picks
Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira is one of those guys the UFC keeps around as a high-level fighter to fill out prelim cards: the 33-year old is good enough to help weed out the pretenders, but has never sniffed the top 15 at middleweight. Still, having spent time with the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos proves that the man can scrap.
The TUF Brazil winner is a quiet veteran of 13 UFC fights, and this Saturday he welcomes Ian Heinisch to the octagon. Heinisch is stepping in on late notice as a replacement for Tom Breese – who suffered yet another injury in a once-promising career filled with them. Let’s hope the Brit makes it back ok.
So who is Ian Heinisch? The 30-year old comes to the UFC as a developed 11-1 fighter, cutting his teeth in a respected feeder promotion in Legacy Fighting Alliance. He’s also has caught the stoppage bug, as he’s ended his last three fights before the third round – including a first-round elbow KO on DWTNCS.
When betting this fight, you know the drill: check out our top online sportsbooks for UFC odds to make sure you’re getting the best prices first. On fight night, live UFC betting at BookMaker.eu is available if you want to hedge any of your plays. Now let’s get into the breakdown and betting analysis.
Cezar Ferreira -175 vs. Ian Heinisch +135
Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: -175 / +135
Significant strikes landed per minute: Ferreira 1.84 / Heinisch —
Accuracy: Ferreira 42.18% / Heinisch —
Significant strikes absorbed per minute: Ferreira 1.96 / Heinisch —
Defense:: Ferreira 57.39% / Heinisch —
Takedown average: Ferreira 2.73 / Heinisch —
Takedown accuracy: Ferreira 63.89% / Heinisch —
Takedowns defended: Ferreira 93.33% / Heinisch —
Submission average: Ferreira 0.59 / Heinisch —
Ferreira’s paltry striking rate along with his solid takedown numbers show that he much prefers to do his work on the ground. Though he’s got quick hands as a southpaw, his chin was cast into doubt after suffering back-to-back knockouts against Sam Alvey and Jorge Masvidal. Smart move, especially since his wrestling has been effective and forces guys to deal with a BJJ black belt.
Heinisch is the smaller fighter here, but the fact that he’s not a massive underdog even as a no-name, late-notice fighter says a lot about his skills. “Mutante” is an established vet, yet Heinisch is polished and well-rounded. He can take down lesser wrestlers, and he can outstrike solid kickboxers. Though his resume pales in comparison to Mutante’s, Heinisch has proven that he deserves to level up. He actually was tabbed to be on a season of TUF before the series was postponed.
But man, he’s getting an extremely tough opponent under less-than-favorable circumstances. Under no circumstances does he want to grapple with Mutante, and he’ll have to navigate on the feet against a bigger, powerful man. His takedown defense will also be tested, as Ferreira averages 2.73 takedowns per 15 minutes at a 63% clip – that’s a stellar number.
UFC Odds Pick: Ferreira to win at -175
While Heinisch has done his part to get into the big show, he’s getting thrown into the deep end with very little preparation. We don’t expect him to get blown out, but Ferreira should be the clear winner.
Access live betting lines from your mobile device at BookMaker sportsbook! Real-time spreads, totals, props and money line are all available so start betting with BookMaker today. UFC Fight Night 140 takes place on Saturday, November 17, 2018 at the Parque Roca Arena in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The main card airs live on FS1 starting 10pm ET.
Check out the latest UFC Fight Night 140 betting odds.